Tuesday Morning QB

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know it’s Wednesday. Sue me. I didn’t get it out yesterday. But it’s here today, after the opening weekend of real football.

College football started last Thursday with a bang, leading into 5 glorious days of the sport we all love.  Opening up was a conference game involving SEC teams South Carolina and Vanderbilt. On the surface this is not something to get too excited about.  But what a game it was to start out the season with. South Carolina has aspirations of SEC glory this year with the return of Heisman Trophy candidate Marcus Lattimore from a serious knee injury which ended his 2011 campaign.  He had a little rust to knock off, fumbling on his first carry, but came back strong with a solid outing with over a 100 yards and 2 TD’s. With the help of tough QB Connor Shaw, who himself hurt his shoulder during the course of the game, they staved off upset to the upstart Commodores from Vanderbilt, 17-13.

New Washington State coach Mike Leach

Thursday also brought back the return of the pirate, embattled coach Mike Leach who opened up his tenure at Washington State. It was great to see him back on the sidelines, even if his team was disappointing, failing to score a TD for only the 3rd time in Leach’s ten year head coaching career.  BYU knocked off the pirate 30-6.

On to Friday night and the marquee matchup between two top 25 teams Michigan State and Boise State.  Although MSU took control of this game, 17-13, it was a slug fest through out and MSU TB Le’Veon Bell running wild on the Broncos D.  But I give so much credit to Boise State, they go into someone elses back yard to start the season every damn year, and usually win! And not just anyone’s backyard, perennial powers such as Georgia, Virginia State, and now Michigan State.  They are a young team, replacing the winnigest QB in NCAA history in Kellen Moore, they will be back, but this year at least we can stop the mid major in the title game talk early.

Michigan State RB Le’Veon Bell

Saturday started off with the earliest start time I can ever remember with Notre Dame taking on Navy in Dublin Ireland. A 7 am kickoff, central time, is awful early to start drinking and tailgating, but I know some of you did! You know who you are.  I actually missed the first half of this game, sleep is important to me, but caught the second half when ND already had control of this game leading to a 50-10 blowout for the Fighting Irish.  But this only led to a full slate of games, not all good. This weekend was peppered with blowouts, stinkers, but like all college football weekends, plenty of upsets and near upsets. Like Pitt losing to FCS school Youngstown State on the debut of their new coaching staff.  And Houston welcomed newly appointed FBS school Texas State by promplty laying down for dead. The Cougars are in a decent mid major conference in Conference USA, Texas State? Haven’t a clue.  Then we get to the sad affairs in Happy Valley, which hasn’t been such a happy place much since it was deemed the child molestation capital of the country, at least the football country, thanks to Jerry Sandusky.  Penn State hoped to forget the ugly past, and start a new with a new regime, headed up by first year head coach Tom O’Brien.   But the good feelings didn’t last long with the upstart Ohio Bobcats rolling into Beaver Stadium ruining things for the Nittany Lions, 24-14.

Beaver Stadium, University Park, PA

This leads us to the big matchup of the weekend. Alabama met Michigan in the annual JerryWorld bowl in Dallas.  Michigan is supposed to be back, they weren’t. There were questions whether Alabama could reload coming off their BCS Championship in 2011, they could. They dominated from the start, racing to score after score on the Wolverine defense.  They dominated enough to jump back into the top spot in the AP poll. And Michigan.. well, they looked like Michigan of recent years, just not very good.

That leaves us with the local boys, OU, OSU and TU. OSU played a glorified High School team, so they really don’t even get a mention here. Damn, Union or Jenks could have beat Savannah State handily as OSU rolled to the tune of 84-0.

TU traveled to Ames, Iowa to take on the Cyclones of Iowa State, a decent Big 12 team as of late. TU was actually favored, which I didn’t quite understand, and I would be correct because ISU was too much for the Golden Hurricane, finishing the Conference USA favorite 38-23.

Now to OU. Not a lot to say. They won. That’s the only good thing that came out of this matchup with UTEP in El Paso, Texas. But they won ugly, very ugly, only leading 10-7 in the 4th quarter before finishing off the Miners late 24-7.  The defense did pitch a shutout, the only UTEP score coming on a blocked punt early in the game. The offense was hit and miss.. and that is saying something. Landry Jones looked much improved moving out of the pocket, but his happy feet were still prevelant through out much of the game behind a revamped and inexperienced offensive line. They say the most improvement comes between week 1 and 2, for me and other Sooner fans let’s hope that is the case.

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The Tale Of Two Number Ones

How many drafts in recent memory have had two legitimate number one franchise quarterbacks? None that I can recall. Maybe back when Peyton Manning came out and was up against Ryan Leaf. And we all know how that played out. Manning is still (arguably) in the midst of a Hall of Fame career, Leaf is somewhere between selling insurance and drug convictions.

So how will this class pan out? Is it Andrew Luck, or Robert Griffin III? Which would you choose? I have an opinion.  And it probably isn’t the status quo.  What would you do if you were the Colts, who happen to hold the rights to the number one pick in the 2012 upcoming draft.  They also have that guy I mentioned earlier, you know that Manning kid.  The guy who is a sure fire Hall of Famer right now.  But there in lies the rub. Manning’s health is questionable at best.  After having 4 neck surgeries in the past year, which caused him to miss the entire 2011 season is Manning ready to resume his all-star career? The debate is still in. So I ask again, what should the Colts do? There are numerous suitors if the Colts decide to part ways and go with youth, which most talking heads believe is the course they will take. And I agree. In this league, you go with youth, especially if you have two arguably can’t miss franchise QB’s ready to step in.

Robert Griffin III with the 2012 Heisman

So then the argument changes. Which one. Luck or RG3? Both have ability, that was proven on the national stage in the college game. But both have slightly different games. Although, I will argue not that different. Not that different at all. Some will say that Luck is the best pure pocket passer to come out of college since.. well since Manning. I would probably not disagree. He has tremendous presence in the pocket. Can read a defense like a veteran NFL QB right now. He is the most ready to play right away QB I might have ever seen.  A definite can’t miss prospect.  But RG3 is no slouch either. The difference is RG3 can break defensive backs ankles when he decides to take off from the pocket. Luck can not do that. Edge to RG3.  So the kid can run. That means he probably can’t stand in the pocket and pick apart those same DB’s. Wrong. Go watch some of the film. Repeatedly his Senior year he stood tall in the pocket and threw deep, medium, all over the yard. Checking off defenders, finding the open man. Throwing a beautiful ball.  And what pushed me over the edge was hearing him at the combine, being interviewed. The kid is smart, insightful, well spoken.  He will be a great addition to any team and especially to any city.  So I guess if I were the Colts, I would be picking RG3. But we all know, they are already going with the safe pick.  Some it’s safe, I don’t.  Well all I say is.. Good Luck.

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Penn State

Let’s think about Sandusky in a normal world .

If it came to light to your boss, CEO, Owner of your company, that you were spotted having anal sex with a little boy in any part of the company property, what would happen? You would be fired and exiled on the spot, even if it wasn’t accurate. Just the rumor would get you canned. Or they would find a way to can you if their wasn’t evidence. Correct?

But what if it was a long time “friend”, a kid you brought into the company, you taught and mentored. And then it happens. I still say, forget that, you end ties immediately. Unless beyond a doubt that person DIDN’T do it. Just the rumor in your company(program) is not good. ESPECIALLY, when there are multiple reports. MULTIPLE. Think about that, multiple reports. Which JoePa HAD to know about. And the guy was still allowed on campus? With free reign to move about within the offices and facilities as he pleases?? You have to know if, IF?, No not IF you have to know IT WILL go bad at some point, you have to shun him. You have to distance yourself, from even just the allegations, which are many!

That is what I don’t understand. Why would JoePa, of such moral fortitude, supposedly, wouldn’t just ask the guy to stay away? Now that is not the correct thing either. I know he is being vilified for not doing more to turn in Sandusky, and rightfully so. But even if you stop there, and you are in the camp that he did what he was supposed to do, he moved it up the chain. Which is what by.. law, not sure if it is really law though, but he did what “he was supposed to do”, at a minimum. But he didn’t do enough. Just ask all those kids from 2002 and later.

Soo It’s Hate Week

Better known around here as OU-Texas week.  Always the biggest game of the year.. so far that is. There always should be bigger games. Those at the end of the year come to mind as being traditionally bigger, for both OU and the Longhorns from down south.  So that brings a question to ponder.  Why does this game matter more than say the Big 12 title game, or heaven forbid, the BCS National Championship game?  Because it comes first.  Naturally. Have to win this one to get to the next one. Correct? Not necessarily.


OU has lost this game twice in the past 10 years and still played for the conference title game.  Not so much for the BCS game. Although it technically is not out of the realm of possibility.  LSU played us earlier this decade after incurring 2 losses in their season.  So a loss to our bitter arch rival in early October does not necessarily knock us out of title contention.  Especially when both are ranked in the top ten.  At least it used to not. This year might be different. OU has been winning at a pretty good pace this year, knocking around their last opponent 62-6.  But has still dropped in the polls.  OU started pre-season number one.  Now sits at number three.  After going on the road in week two and beating a top ten team in Florida State and then following that up by beating another top twenty team, Missouri at home.  That’s two top twenties in three weeks, and gearing up to face another top ten in this Saturday’s Red River Rivalry.  Let’s do the math, that would be three top twenty teams in the first 5 games, including two top tens opponents. Throw in a quality win against a very good Tulsa team to open the season and that’s a pretty decent resume. Why are we being leap frogged in the polls? Cause we aren’t in the vaunted SEC? That’s what the pundits would have you believe by having both Alabama and LSU jump over us.  And I would be willing to buy some of that argument.  LSU opened the season beating Oregon, a top five team at the time at a neutral site to open the season. I wouldn’t have wanted to open the season with a top five team, but it sure would been damn fun to do so!!  Bama just beat Florida in the swamp, always a quality win.  So they do have some argument.  It will all play out in the end, that is my promise to OU fans.  Plus, if we survive Texas, Bama and LSU play each other the first of November, so they will probably knock one of themselves out.  But wait.. they are still SEC, so we still might get a raw deal.   So why don’t we want to just join that conference?

But i digress.

This was supposed to be about why this weekend matters more than others. Why is this game bigger?  Well.. it’s Texas.. duh!

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College Football Is Upon Us

Things kicked off last night, if only in mediocre fashion. Several games were on the Thursday night slate, non compelling as most were big blowouts except for the dismal Kentucky-Western Kentucky match-up which was just plain ugly. This is typical of the first weekend in college football.  Most teams start out slow, scheduling patsies to open their season at home.  Safe games, scrimmages really. Now there have been some epic openers, Miami – Florida State comes to mind. They have played a couple of times to begin the season. But most teams choose not to play tough out of conference opponents.  Not this year. One game in particular has most college football fans frothing at the mouth. LSU-Oregon. This is a bowl game the first weekend of September.  This a match up of two top five teams the first weekend of the season. Who could ask for anything more?

OU coach Bob Stoops

Not me! As a huge fan, college football couldn’t get here quick enough.  Having a match-up like that the opening weekend is something to celebrate.  Except for one thing. I won’t get to watch it. Live anyway.  It airs at the same time as my beloved Oklahoma Sooners opener. I will be watching that, cheering like mad, screaming at the TV, calling for Heupels head at some point. (Although I doubt that really happens. ) We open up with in state school Tulsa. No slouch themselves, but not up to challenge of the pre-season number one ranked Sooners.  So I have a decision to make. Do I try to just DVR the LSU-Oregon game and watch it later?  It won’t be as compelling, I will undoubtedly know the score before viewing. It will be posted on the screen of my game continually all night.  So what would be the point? This is one dilemma that I welcome with the return of football season.  Great games all around. Just impossible to catch them all.  ESPN better show some great hi-lights, that’s all I have to say!


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Til Death Do Us Part

Miami, Miami, Miami.  Wow. And I thought the improprieties that rocked the SMU program were bad.  That debacle pales in comparison. It’s like that was the minor leagues of cheating.  Welcome to the big leagues. Miami should have resided in the SEC with the amount of cheating they are accused of.

All from a 5’5″ white convicted felon.  But this guy was special. He hoodwinked many a people. Supposedly bright, well educated coaches and educators in a 930 million dollar ponzi scheme which landed Nevin Shapiro in federal prison.  This guy apparently was running wild among the movers and shakers of Miami University, the self proclaimed “U”.  Who were these movers and shakers? Well apparently then  head basketball coach Frank Haith and University President Donna Shalala to name two. Pretty heady company. I am not even sure famed Miami thug  errr rapper turned Hurricane booster Luther Campbell got into those circles. 

Devin Shapiro with Frank Haith and Donna Shalala

This guy was openly shelling out cash and benefits at a record pace. benefits that included cash payouts, prostitutes, trips, cars, shoot even bounties for big hits and big plays. Dang, the cat was even on the field and had access to the press box.  How did this go on? Was selling their soul for winning worth it? And man, they didn’t even win. One title in the past decade? None in Basketball, they didn’t sniff the Final Four.  So what happens now?

Nevin Shapiro on playing field

SMU got the death penalty back in the 80’s for the crimes they committed. Shouldn’t this be the same sentence? The crimes fit the punishment. But there are more things to consider. What about the economy? What about the conference? Schedules would have to be altered. Other programs would be affected. Some games with out of conference opponents are set many many years in advance. What about those programs? It’s all about money isn’t it? I honestly think they should be allowed to continue to play. Take away a bunch of scholarships, no TV, no bowl games. But they must play their schedules out. If they go 0-11, so be it. Either way it takes them a decade at least to come back. That to me fits the crime and does not effect anyone else.  To me that’s the fairest route to take.


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